April 17, 2013  |  Members Statements

Liquor: regional licensing inspectors

I am appalled at the announcement by the Napthine government that regional liquor licensing inspectors are being scrapped across Victoria. The majority of local pubs and clubs take their licence compliance very seriously and do the right thing, but the signal from the Napthine government in scrapping regional liquor licensing inspectors gives those pubs and clubs that do not do the right thing the idea that no-one is looking over their shoulder any more.

As a cost-cutting measure the Napthine government has merged gambling regulation and liquor licensing, scrapping the regional licensing inspectors, and has decided to base new inspectors in Richmond to cover both gambling and liquor licensing.

Scrapping the regional inspectors will mean a significant reduction in the enforcement of compliance of licence provisions, including preventing the serving of under-age people, stopping the serving of intoxicated people or checking venue operating hours and other compliance requirements.

With the terrible implications of violence and social disorder resulting from venues not acting in accord with their licensing provisions, this will have serious ramifications on regional centres like Ballarat. This action will make it much harder to tackle alcohol abuse and alcohol-fuelled violence in Ballarat and regional Victoria.

Abolishing regional inspectors will allow some pubs and clubs to run rampant. In the past licensing inspectors have played a vital role in helping reduce alcohol-related impacts like assaults, domestic violence and serious injury, but the Napthine government has put cost cutting ahead of dealing with these alcohol-related crimes in regional Victoria.